"Scuba diving is sensual. To breathe underwater is one of the most fascinating and peculiar sensations imaginable. ... Soon, lungs act as bellows, controlling your buoyancy as you achieve weightlessness. And, as in your dreams, you are flying. ... "
― Tec Clark
The sea has always been a subject of great fascination and awe for mankind. No matter how deep we explore the saline waters, the ocean never seems to come to an end. Through the ages, humans have figured out ways and means to reach the bottom of the sea, and to explore and exploit its hidden treasures. However, the excitement and curiosity to know about and be a part of the underwater realm does not just end there. With the passage of time, diving became one of the most favorite recreational activities of adventure seekers, and sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving gained impetus. Today, scuba diving has become one of the greatest underwater adventures sought by adrenaline junkies, so much so that scuba diving tourism has occupied a veritable place in the world tourism industry.
World's Best Scuba Diving Destinations
If you are planning to go on a scuba diving vacation in the near future, here is a list of some of the best destinations in the world that you can consider.
The Red Sea, Egypt
One dive underneath the surface of the Egyptian Red Sea, and all you can see is a huge variety of marine life all around you. This is one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, landlocked on all the four sides by a desert, thus, making its water a little saltier than that of other water bodies. You can experience a fantastic swim with the dolphins and sharks, which keep on circling the walls and wrecks in the depths. The variety of colorful corals and sponges in the reefs look absolutely astonishing. A scuba diving experience in the Red Sea can, thus, leave you absolutely overwhelmed.
Considered to be the 'Jewel of Indonesia', the island of Bali is undoubtedly one of the most exotic holiday destinations in the world. And that is certainly true when it comes to a scuba diving vacation as well. Bali also displays an absolutely stunning biodiversity; however, the most sought-after underwater attraction for the divers flocking here is the Mola mola
, the giant ocean sunfish, which is the world's heaviest-known bony fish. Bali boasts of some of the world's best scuba diving instructors and diving spots.
The Cayman Islands
Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, comprising three islands, viz. the Grand Cayman, the Cayman Brac, and the Little Cayman. All these three islands are world-famous scuba diving destinations, where divers tend to flock in large numbers to swim with stingrays. These islands also boast of remnants of shipwrecks in their depths, which attract scuba divers in large numbers. Plus, there are infinite opportunities to swim along the deep walls and encounter strange marine animals.
Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Situated off the Costa Rican shore, Cocos Island is an uninhabited island, except that there is a permanent ranger station over there. The waters that surround the island are known for their populations of large marine animals, including dolphins, rays, and hammerhead sharks. The island also features one of the richest reefs of the southeastern Pacific, abundant with colorful species of marine fauna. In 2007, Cocos Island was designated as one of the ten best scuba diving spots in the world by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
Literally meaning Island of the Swallows
, this Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea is another world-renowned scuba diving destination. The primary attractions of Cozumel for scuba divers, who flock on the island from all across the globe, are extensive communities of coral reefs. In fact, the island's natural geography is such that the coral reefs have been automatically protected from the open ocean, thus, preserving a variety of species that they have. Moreover, the divers can go as deep as 3,000 feet in the sea and explore the numerous awe-inspiring tunnels, caves, and caverns, besides the breathtaking marine life.
This archipelago of volcanic islands boasts of as many as 62 scuba diving sites, and is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you crave for big animals, then the Galapagos Islands is definitely your place. You can actually swim along with massive whale sharks, turtles, moray eels, and eagle rays; not to forget the stars of the show―the hammerhead sharks, which appear in large schools over here. You can also see actual one-on-one encounters of the hammerhead and whale sharks, especially during their migration period (May to October).
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
This is, by far, the most iconic scuba diving destination in the world. With nearly 3,000 individual reefs and over 350 different species of corals, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on our planet. Furthermore, it is so immense that it is home to some 1,500 different species of fish, and six out of seven species of sea turtles found in the world. In a nutshell, it is a diver's paradise, and definitely does not have any close rival. So, if you want to get a kaleidoscopic view of marine life, scuba dive into the Great Barrier Reef!
Half Moon Caye, Belize
If you are looking to do a wall dive, then the Half Moon Caye is the perfect place for you. Once you begin diving downwards, you will be intrigued by seeing the variety of marine life that the Caye shelters. There are numerous tunnels and swim-throughs, crammed with a variety of sponges and monster groupers. The most noticeable sightings are those of eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, barracudas, moray eels, and the rosy razorfish.
The tourism industry of Palau focuses mainly on scuba diving and snorkeling on the islands, which boast of an extremely rich marine environment. Palau features more than 700 coral species, over 1,500 fish species, numerous blue holes, absolutely stunning walls, and enchanting coral reefs. As if that was not enough, the waters also contain some historical World War II wrecks. So, if you are looking for a wholesome diving experience, with a bit of historical hysteria, Palau is "the" place on earth.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a blooming scuba diving destination, which has come to the forefront recently. For divers who wish to witness and experience the diversity of marine life, Papua New Guinea is the location. Within the deep waters surrounding these islands, you can see everything from small fish to huge whales to expansive coral reefs. The major highlight of the scuba diving sites, located around these islands, is that deep water is only a couple of feet away from the beaches, so you don't have to go too far, in order to take your dive within.
The ones which are mentioned above are just a few of the numerous amazing scuba diving spots around the world. Many more are yet to come to the forefront. So, what are you waiting for? Get going to experience the most fulfilling adventure of your lifetime!